Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Best interests of the child, the center of child custody issues

Divorcing is not an easy task, especially if there are children involved. In Worcester, Massachusetts, readers who have been through the process of marital dissolution are aware that divorce takes a toll on the emotions of the people involved, forcing them to make decisions that might haunt them once the divorce is final.

Child custody is one of the most important issues that comes up in divorce. Because emotions run high, some spouses tend to use their children as pawns in the divorce battle as an attempt to take revenge or hurt the feelings of the other spouse. This takes a toll on the children, making them feel torn between parents who are supposed to love and care for them. In similar cases, one parent aims to gain the primary custody of the children, which can force the other parent to be content with visitation rights.

Divorcing spouses have to consider the best interests of the child when discussing child custody issues. They should also understand that as parents they will be connected permanently because of the children. Another important thing to consider is that the children need both parents in their lives. Depriving the children of the love and affection of the other parent can affect their emotional state.

Parents may also wish to consider shared custody so that the children can spend equal time with both parents. Still, this setup depends on the situation between the parents. Parents can discuss the benefits of shared parenting, and get more information to allow them to fully understand the concept.

Once the child custody arrangement has been settled, the next step for the parents is to co-parent respectfully. Although this may be difficult at first, maintaining open communication will help a lot. In the event of child custody issues and disputes, parents may wish to seek modification of the existing child custody agreement.

Source: Huffingtonpost.com, "The truth about divorce? You decide!," Deborah Moskovitch, Jan. 21, 2014

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